Hull – Streetlife Museum (1818 Hobby Horse Bicycle)

The museum was given this bicycle in 1905 by a Mr. Mayfield who said that this father had merrily cycled around the Yorkshire Wolds on it, having originally bought it in Scarborough. When I write “cycled”, what I really mean is that Mr. Mayfield’s father had to push himself along as the bloody thing didn’t have any pedals. Now, by chance, this is also how I primarily ride a bike, by just pushing myself along using my feet, since the pedalling bit tires me out.

I bet these owners were the envy of the local area…. Actually, owners of the bikes were sometimes known as ‘dandyhorses’ in a mocking way because of their riders, and I can think of a few people that I know who would probably buy one of these given half a chance. What is perhaps the most incredible about this is that it took 40 years for anyone to add pedals, as in the meantime there was a production of three-wheeled bikes, which didn’t require the rider to balance.